Well, where should I start. Lets start from the very beginning.
We went to the riders meeting and it ran long. Then, Texas Roadhouse had a spot open on their team so Timmer followed USA Cycling rules, signed out of his team, and signed onto theirs. Well, LaPorte told him that he couldn't because he is a "MCF rider." How is that for Minnesota Cycling? Well, no pointing of fingers until something get hashed out with MCF, LaPorte, and how to better the NVGP for more Minnesota talent. We have it, let us use it. Our teams are no different than other Stage regional teams that were allowed in with all eight guys. Dave puts on a hell of an event but we need to stike some sincere and honest communication with him. It benefits all involved. We draw a lot of fans. Ya you!
Mean Dawg and I got in a good warm-up ride the day before the TT and hooked up with Jeremy Powers of Jelly Belly for a bit. Good guy.
Stage one TT included water from the sky. In the end I posted a 13:13 even after feeling like Poo. Happy, unhappy, and I'll still take it. Almost crashed and died through the chicane on the way back.
Stage two St. Paul Crit. I got a call up, slipped my pedal off the start, finished in the pack. Safe. Much better layout of a course.
Woke up, went out to the van, found it broken into. Digital camera, 24 cd's, money, and my watch (which they dropped on the boulevard). Bike parts, receipts, and glove box thrown all about. Miss my new camera already. I hope they are dead already. Karma is not a nice thing at times.
Stage three. Cannon Falls. Open road crashes, gravel crashes, and circuit crashes. Luckily missed them all. Patty Cakes and I missed a great one on the last lap. Made it home alive and in the group.
Went on a ride with the race leader and good friend Tom Zirbel, and Greg Brandt. Took him on a tour of Hed cycling. Timmer got us on the espresso, we hit the coffee shop for pasties and more coffee. Easy ride and good time to catch up on my lost time in Boulder.
Stage four. New Uptown crit. Great course, great crowds, got caught behind a crash in laps 12 to go and 10 to go. Chased back only to have some dumb ass let a gap open between the two last turns. Sprinted for my life to close the gap. Unsuccessful.
Went to Hollywood's bash for brats.
Stage five. Off to Mankato. Great race and easy out on the road. Mean Dawg flatted and had to do a monster chase back on. He made it. Came into the circuits, got caught behind a crash, got T-boned and went down too. Mean Dawg waited, got up, chased for dear life only to have the officials stop us going onto the last lap. Dot Abbott, the chief judge, admitted her mistake but she still gave my group a 7:40 pro-rate for a lap that was only averaging 6:09. ? I was 2:20 behind the yellow jersey group when I was stopped. She admitted all the mistakes about the Mankato circuits today in stillwater. I am sure nothing will be done. If you don't speak your mind nothing will get done. The rest of you should have spoke up.
Stage six. Stillwater. Started near the rear but felt good. Second lap up the climb I got pushed over towards the crowd on the right, ran over something, blew my front tire. Dismounted since I was in the big ring, ran, remounted, and Hollywood push me the rest of the way. I got off, pushed through the fences, remounted and rode down the back side of the course, cut through the side street, and got back to Shimano. The pushed me into the rear of the peloton. It had momentum, I did not. Game over. The last time up the climb I found my climbing legs. Unfortunately, lady luck was still in bed again. Micah hung in there until the end. Mean Dawg says he has found his "old man legs." Jens had his rear deraileur ripped off and did not finish.
whew. That is the sum of it. For me it started from good and went bad. Crashes, car break-in's, stolen property, flats, road rash, and a head cold made up my final days. In the end I leave with great legs that never really got used.
Thanks for all the support out there from friends, fans, and cycling lovers new and old. Thanks to Hanna and the GP guys for looking out for the Grand Stay boys, Hed Cycling (Dino, Pauly, Timmer, Steve and Anne, Andy, and the rest of the crew) for taking care of wheels issues, Jelly Belly for the ample supply of sugar, On-Support for looking out for the local boys, Vittoria Tires for hooking up Mean Dawg, and anyone else who stepped up and helped us out.
I am sure I will have more once I think about it. Until then, wait until MSP Police get back to me for my report so I can make an insurance claim, glue two new tubulars, clean up bikes, loads of laundry, throw out torn kits, clean bottles, massage, and lots of rest before Master's Nats.
Hope all the Kenda guys get healed up, Minnesota Cycist become "somebody" to the Minnesota Bike Festival Promoters, and oh, thanks for all the cookies everyone.
Bummer Zirbel lost the jersey by 3 seconds. He deserved to carry it until the end. I wish I could have been their until the end. Hell, I would have braked on Rory. That is o.k, Zirbel has bigger fish to fry.
My legs is dripping. Time to fix up the road rash. Ciao -Ian